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Are there any advantages to using copper rather than CPVC or PEX?

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See similar question: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/261/… –  gregmac Aug 26 '10 at 20:16
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up vote 8 down vote accepted
  • Copper has a well-proven track record
  • Copper parts are more readily-available and it's easier to repair (eg, don't need the expensive crimping tool like with PEX)
  • Safer during fires since it is much more resistant to heat and giving off fumes

That said, I am a huge fan of PEX. It's been around for quite a few years now (though obviously nowhere near as long as copper), and for the most part is proven.

  • Pex is cheaper (in both material and labor costs),
  • Pex is easier to install, with many less connections required (eg, try doing a long straight run through a wall or perpendicular through joists - PEX slides right in, copper requires a ton of little segmented pieces and couplers)
  • Pex can look better when properly installed (when not properly secured, it sags, and because of the forgiving nature, you can have crooked lines and non-right angles).
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Also: copper looks better on an exposed run. –  Jeremy McGee Aug 19 '10 at 5:29
Copper is self supporting (to a large degree). –  ChrisF Aug 19 '10 at 9:47
The crimping tool is no longer a factor I easily found one for $40 with a simple Google search, besides compare the price of the crimping tool to the cost of a torch and MAPP gas. As Pex becomes more popular you will see the cost of the tools drop dramatically. –  Tester101 Aug 19 '10 at 11:51
Copper also has natural anti-microbial properties. –  Eric Petroelje Aug 19 '10 at 12:22
@Jeremy: Depends. PEX is definitely harder to make look better, but it can look better. Well-installed PEX looks a LOT better than a mediocre copper job (in my opinion). –  gregmac Aug 19 '10 at 23:30
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PEX can be used for troublesome water supplies that will pinhole copper.

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